When you come down to the basement, the first room you see on the right-hand side is this giant space that’s cluttered with toys. The room was originally designed to be a home theater but let’s be honest, it will be a very long time before we actually need a home theater. What we do need is a kid’s playroom as this space has become a central location for storing all the twin’s toys.
Now, this room doesn’t get a lot of light and it was originally painted this dark taupe color which basically sucked whatever light would creep into the room. So the first step in transforming this space is to give it a fresh coat of paint that would help illuminate the room.
I tried a few swatches of white and off-white on the wall to help us find the perfect color that reflected a lot of light and brightened up the space with a hint of softness. We ended up going with Calm by Benjamin Moore.
On the right side of the room, I wanted to create what I call stations. Each station would basically have some purpose.
The first station would allow me to store all their larger toys on top and their creative plays at the bottom. It would also be a great way for me to also pull out their old Halloween costumes and have them easily accessible so they can dress up whenever they wanted. To do this, I needed a floor-to-ceiling bookcase but because this room doesn’t have any bookcases, I hit Pinterest to get some ideas on how I could add this and give it the appearance that it was a built-in.
The Billy bookcase was incredibly popular with DIY’ers and perfect to create the built-in look. All I needed was three Billy bookcases, contour gage and access to a rotary saw so I could have the bookcase flush against the wall. To help complete the illusion that it’s built-in, I painted the bookshelf the same color as the wall. Overall, I have to admit it looks better than I imagined.
The second station I created was a working space where they could build all their legos, color their activity books, and do all their fun arts and crafts. This space is actually my favorite because I love the clean design of these desks, the ample storage space it offers and I am in love with the floating shelves we hung right in front of it so they display all their handiwork for them to admire.
Talking about arts and crafts, I have a large collection of crayons, pencil colors, markers, glue – basically, I can open my own preschool or Montessori. I saw this Pinterest picture of a Montessori school where the teacher had a similar collection of arts and craft supplies in clear glass jars with labels.
By the way, shoutout to my friend Fatema for creating custom labels for the glass jars. They look absolutely amazing! I also created a cute little reading nook right beside it with a comfy cushion and pillow so they can chill out there and go through their picture books.
This little nook has to be my favorite because finally, the kids can reach all their crayons, markers, play-doh without requiring me to get them (they used to be stored in these plastic bins on the top shelf…in the kitchen)
Did I mention that we have an insane amount of toys? Over the last four years, we have accumulated a large collection of toys from friends, grandparents, family, grandparents, myself, and oh grandparents. One popular storage solution we have used is baskets and I love all the baskets we grabbed from Canadian Tire.
I got mine from Canadian Tire because I wanted to have all the baskets to be identical instead of having a mish-mash of different designs of baskets in one space. After we ran out of baskets, we decided to get a media unit so we can tuck more toys away discretely. This media unit was also perfect to display all their larger toys that could not fit on the bookshelf.
Do you see the collection of dinosaurs? Well, I still have a bag of more dinosaurs, cars, ponies, puppies that couldn’t fit in the storage baskets, and yes – the media unit. So I got a bit creative in how we could store some of their dinosaurs at the same time have them up on display (I’ll deal with the other items some other day).
I’m currently waiting for a large rug to arrive and an activity desk, similar to the one I have in my little boy’s room, to help complete the space. Overall, I love how this space turned out and I love how bright and inviting it looks. Even before the rug and activity desk has arrived, the kids have already started using the space and love spending their time here versus the family room watching TV.
To me, that’s a huge win! Any space you create that’s inviting enough for them to not want to watch TV is a room that’s done right.
Paint: Benjamin Moore – Calm
Desks: Canadian Tire
Floating Shelves: Canadian Tire
Lamp: Canadian Tire
Bulletin Board: Homesense
Square Baskets: Canadian Tire
Pencil Cup Holder: H&M
6 Cube Unit Organizer: Canadian Tire
Glass Jars: Container Store
Color Paper: Amazon
Pom Poms: Amazon
Floor Rug: H&M – sold, similar
Floor Cushion: H&M
Media Unit: Canadian Tire
Faux Plant: Canadian Tire
Hexagon Frames: Canadian Tire